(Reuters) - A million people a month are signing up for fitness-tracking app Strava, which now tracks activity trends of 48 million people in 195 countries, the company said in its ‘Year in Sport’ report published on Wednesday.
In the United Kingdom alone, 7.5 percent of adults are on Strava and data showed they cumulatively ran 308.5 million km and cycled 937.2 million km.
Data also revealed that 5.8 percent of runners in the UK completed either a marathon or an ultramarathon — a race that is longer than the traditional 26.2 miles (42.3km) marathon distance.
“The growth of distance running on Strava is mindblowing, and something I don’t believe has been captured effectively in the past,” Strava’s UK country manager Gareth Mills said in a statement.
“As we are living increasingly sedentary lifestyles, particularly in developed countries, perhaps the call of the marathon or ultramarathon distance becomes a way of combating this trend for many of our community.”
The continual growth of parkrun is also represented, with a third of all of the thousands of organized 5km Saturday morning runs uploaded to the app, which Strava said accounted for the UK’s average running distance of 5.8 km being lower than the global average of 6.6km.
The rise of Nike’s Vaporfly running shoes is also represented with two versions of the carbon-insoled shoe featuring at the top of the fastest average run table.
Data also revealed that women in the UK were 12 percent less likely to cycle when commuting than men, compared to a global average of 6.7%.
“The data also spotlights areas for improvement,” Mills added. “It is disappointing to see that British women are much less likely to commute by bike than men compared to the global average, and we should refocus on the root causes.”
Safety has also been a concern in the UK for female runners and the study said that nearly half of all the runs recorded by women in the evenings were when they were accompanied by someone else.
Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru